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Early success not enough

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Posted: October 4, 2011 9:56 p.m.
Updated: October 4, 2011 9:55 p.m.
Early success not enough

Georgia Tech's Orwin Smith looks downfield for running room in the Yellow Jackets' win over North Carolina Sept. 24 in Chapel Hill, N.C.


ATLANTA — Paul Johnson says it shouldn't be difficult for his Georgia Tech players to remain humble and hungry after opening the season with five lopsided wins.

The No. 13 Yellow Jackets, who play Maryland on Saturday, have scored more points through five games than any Atlantic Coast Conference team in 16 years.

Running back Orwin Smith suggested after last week's win over N.C. State that the Yellow Jackets have not been tested.

Johnson said Tuesday he is far from satisfied and has given his players firm reminders he still expects improvement.

The coach said he would be content only if the Yellow Jackets, who are averaging 52 points, score on every possession. So far they've scored in every quarter but one.

That's not good enough for Johnson, even if Georgia Tech's 258 points are a five-game high for the ACC since Florida's State's 279 in 1995.

"My job as coach is to try to get this team to play the best they can play," Johnson said. "It's not to pat them on the back and 'rah rah' when they do something good."

Georgia Tech (5-0 overall, 2-0 ACC) scored more than 60 points in wins over Western Carolina and Kansas and has topped 40 points in two more games, including last week's 45-35 win over N.C. State.

Smith said after the win over the Wolfpack that he already was looking forward to back-to-back games against Clemson and Virginia Tech on Oct. 29 and Nov. 10, respectively.

Smith said, "in my mind, we haven't played real competition to really test our skills."

Added Smith: "We've played great teams this year, but I'm looking forward to the tough games — Virginia Tech and Clemson. Those really are going to make a statement on what this team is about."

Predictably, Johnson said he's not looking for better tests for his team.

"We've been tested plenty enough," Johnson said. "Just as much as I want to be tested."

Johnson said Smith probably was looking at Clemson's win over Virginia Tech last week when he said he couldn't wait to play those ranked teams.

 

Georgia Tech beat North Carolina 35-28 in its first conference game, providing another indicator that defense has not been the Yellow Jackets' strength.

 

Georgia Tech, second in the nation in scoring, ranks first in rushing and second in total offense.

 

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